tv HR 1 For the People Act News Conference CSPAN January 9, 2019 6:55pm-7:35pm EST
elected during the midterms and five were republicans. a former navy seal who lost an eye to an aed in afghanistan was born in scotland and spent some childhood time in south america where his father worked in the oil industry. voters in the fifth district elected lance goodman who also served in the state legislature as an insurance broker for energy companies prior to the election. trip roy is a former u.s. senate staffer and as the firth chief of staff for said senator ted cruz. he worked for rick perry, ghostwriting a book for the governor. mr. roy has also been a federal prosecutor. taylor now represents the third district and was previously a member of the texas state legislature serving terms in the state house and the senate, before his political career, taylor saw combat in iraq as a member of the u.s. marine corps . and, in the sixth the
district, one wright succeeded joe barton where he once worked as chief of staff and district director. earlier in his career he was on the city council of arlington texas . >> new congress, new leaders, watch it all on c-span . democratic lawmakers and specific organizations had a news conference to talk about their support for hr one, the bill aims to address voting rights and campaign-finance. >> i'm robert wiseman kupfer public citizen, i'm pleased to be here today with doug roster to support hr one, this is intended to show the broad support for this legislation, the most sweeping co-democracy anticorruption legacy of the last 50 years. we will first hear from to members of congress that i will
introduce it after that we will run through leaders of a wide variety of nongovernmental organizations. the first two speakers will be john surveying, john maryland, representative katie from california, representative saar baines is the lead sponsor of this unbelievable legislation that we are supporting, representative porter is a new member and we are excited to have her in congress and representing the new energy on behalf of democracy and against corruption . >> good morning everybody. it's great to be here with the leaders of the movement to take back our democracy from special interests and insiders. want to thank everyone who is assembled and the team behind me, we could not be here today for celebrating and introduction of hr1 without
this broad strong grassroots coalition that has been working for years to get us to this moment. we can show the american people that we want to restore their voice and give them ownership back of their own government that's what this is all about. we call it the for the people act because we thought abraham lincoln was a good place to go to get phrasing and he talked about a government of, by and for the people. when you look at what this hr1 bill will do, making it easier, not harder to vote in america, strengthening ethics and accountability in pushing back against the influence of special interests, that you understand that at the core the stands for the people and we are excited about that. democrats want to open the government but they also want to open that democracy and that's what this is about, we
know that most americans according to the polls take a look at washington and congress and are very skeptical and cynical about whether their voice matters here, they know the price we pay for the undue influence of capitol hill. they know it's hard to protect clean air and clean water when the fossil fuel industry has undue sway. they know it's harder to get good jobs raise the minimum wage and do the right thing on the economy and tax policy when wall street calls the shots. they know we can't get to the kind of sensible gun safety measures that we need in this country when the gun lobby has too much influence in washington, they know that it's hard to address the cost of prescription drug prices when farmer is the one calling the shots with an army of lobbyists and plenty of cash to spread around. they know the cost but, they didn't know until now whether
we were serious about fighting back against the undue influence. but, the for the people act, h.r. 1 is our statement that we are absolutely serious about making that happen. i want to again thank the coalition, all you who you will hear from and many others who made it possible for us to be here for us to seize the moment. so to all americans across the country who felt locked out, this is the year democracy makes a comeback and hr1 will be part of that effort, i'm delighted to introduce the next person, congresswoman katie porter from california. i had the opportunity to travel to california and we did an event together and nobody understands better than she does the power of the message and promise of cleaning up
washington and on rigging the system. if you return the democrats to the majority, we will turn around and give you your democracy back, she represents dozens of new members of congress who came here understanding the power of this message, this narrative, this promise of taking back our country and returning to a government of, by and for the people, katie porter. [ applause ] >> i am delighted to be here as a new member and, especially thankful for two things to be joined by so many wonderful leaders and advocate and she has a very warm coat. but what representative saar being said, in the way that
newly elected members campaigned on this issue is exactly right so when people would say is so many voters did, we need to make sure the fundamental machinery of our democracy is working for the people. cracking down on corruption, this is not a new problem but one that the american people are newly engaged on the standards from leaders regardless of party and position on politics, everyone could be held to high ethical standards in the third part,
campaign-finance, it's long past time to reduce the influence of big money in politics in this bill does that, it creates a small dollar marching program that will reward those who are running grassroots campaigns of the kind that i did. i was proud on my campaign trail , to make campaign-finance reform a key platform and as i said i'm the first democrat to represent my area, ever. we go back 100 years, but part of the reason i appeal to a wide demographic is by making it clear i will listen to the people. not listen to special money politics. i am here on behalf of my entire freshman class, who ruled on this issue dozens of buses led away in setting new standards about how we think on campaign-finance. we are living proof you can get
elected officials. i'm proud to have the leaders behind me and moving h.r. 1 moving forward and i can't wait to celebrate the passage with you. thank you so much. [ applause ] >> we are excited today to bring together through the declaration for american democracy, a really broad range of civic organization leaders. i'm going to introduce them all now and they will each introduce the person who follows them afterwards. the upside is we have a lot of message we want to share listed downside is we will show democratic discipline and solidarity toward each other by limiting comments and the first person speaking will be fred, the president of democracy 21
followed by chris shelton, the president of the community's workers of america than the a greenburgh, the coexecutive director of indivisible, hilary shelton, the senior vice president of policy and advocacy at the naacp, the president and ceo of the center for american progress and josh horwitz, the executive director of the coalition to stop gun violence, via carry the executive director of the national lgbtq task force asking for an michael teagan the president and ceo of people for the american way, bishop garrison, the interim executive director of the national security project. we have a group on civil rights and leadership and the federal campaigns and legislative director at the sierra. we will have a long list to go through.
>> we have broken political system and corrupt campaign- finance system. the american people know it and they strongly object to it. this bill is a holistic approach of dealing with the problems of washington influence money corruption, secret money interim elections, extreme partisan meandering and flawed rules. i want to briefly address two aspects of the battle that begins with h.r. 1. we cannot and will not and influence money corruption in washington without providing candidates with a small donor matching fund system found in hr1. it will not happen given the campaign-finance system enacted by the supreme court. the new financing system is essential to and candidate
dependency , to empower ordinary americans and greatly reduce the power and influence of big money funders. secondly, we do not enter this battle wearing robes covered classes. we know the battle will be difficult and will take time. we envision a 3 to 5 year battle but, this fight will not stop until hr1 is enacted. it took five years to enact the mccain-feingold law over the obstructionist tactics and unyielding opposition of then senator mcconnell and now senate majority leader mcconnell. in the end, the mccain-feingold law was enacted in the year with a republican president, a house controlled by republicans and a senate controlled by democrats by one vote. so, do not be mistaken with the
idea that because this bill is not going to pass the senate in this congress, it's not going to be enacted. it's going to be enacted. public outrage plays a central role in winning the reform battle in 2002, citizens will rise up again to win this battle, this fight is on. thank you . >> now, let me introduce chris shelton >> thank you. first i want to thank the congressman for working tirelessly to get this bill passed and, the other thing i have a message for the democrats, you guys are the majority now and we can have these press conferences inside. [ laughter ] >> cwa urges its pashas.
our democracy is broken and in crisis. twa members know it but to members have engaged in elections only to find their ability to vote restricted or hindered. their voice is drowned out by billions of corporate dollars funds filing into elections and ending the access to the representatives cut off by well- financed corporate lobby efforts. members believe that washington is rigged against the interest of ordinary working people. their growing increasingly apathetic as they see washington focus on things like a tax cut for wall street rather than securing stable jobs for them and their families. they are crying out for anyone to bring our democracy back to the founding principles of we the people, not we the well- connected with huge bank accounts. that is why we are so excited that this is the first major piece of legislation introduced
by house democrats and why we will work with our friends and allies to see that it is past quick way and we will make sure our members and the public now who was on their side to take our democracy back for we the people and who stands in their way so, thank you again, congressman sarbanes and let's get this on and get this past. thank you. [ applause ] >> hello, i mary greenberg co- executive director of indivisible, grassroots network of local communities that sprang up after the 2016 election dedicated to resisting trump and fighting for progressive values. these groups we represent the people who helped to build the blue wave are excited to see a new democratic majority and expect that majority to be bold and demonstrate the vision for
a progressive future. hr1 does that with the camper hands of package for campaign- finance reform, voting rights and access, seeking corruption in politics, it's the kind of work we need to see and we know it's important because we can't achieve and we can't sustain any other progressive priorities without these reforms to democracy, this is an issue we are passionate about kahne the first day of congress we had more than 160 events at the single business day of action. with people showing up in democratic and republican districts alike, we don't want this water down in any way and we are excited to see it move bickley . >> we were founded after 2016 and it's not about resisting trump but the forces that allowed him to rise taking on
fundamental problems, -- >> it represents a larger group around the country and many of us has worked on these issues for a long time and i do think were at a crossing point people are making the deep connection between democracy and a rigged system hurting their own pocketbook. we saw, in this election cycle and over the last few years essentially a system that pass legislation, only for
conservative downers and the depths that one up because of the tax bill and special interest were the only ones profiting. crjpe by system were trying to fix and that corruption is hurting working people and families, people around the country. that was a connection made in debates and campaigns and people understand that the democracy and what is happening to their pocketbook are not two separate issues and that's why hr1 is so important and it's so critical that it is hr1 because people in our country understand that we are not going to get the healthcare we need to the tax system that we need, we won't fight inequality into the government is working for people again, that is why this legislation is so critical , that is why a broad
progressive coalition is going to work night and day to see this past out of the house and i'm not giving it five years. i'm saying, we are gonna see this path, if not with this president and the next president, who i hope will be here in two years. i accelerating the timeline because i don't think we have years to save our democracy. we don't have a decade, we need to do it these years now and i'm excited to be here with everyone else and to introduce hilary shelton, senior vice president >> that afternoon everyone. i am hilary shelton, director of the naacp washington bureau,
on behalf of the naacp, the president and ceo of the ceo and naacp, we are still on military bases as voting americans to italy, germany, korea and japan, were honored to be here and are grateful to our leaders for moving such an important piece of legislation and making it number one. we understand it is the speaker of the house who determines the earlier numbers, nancy pelosi is taking leadership and having the foresight to say that before anything else the american right to vote must be forefront and foremost. to defining our organization in 1909 to address the issue of unfettered access to the poll we recognize the challenge throughout our country, were part of a peep who've been locked out too many times for so many reasons and that's why this bill is so important to us.
what h.r. 1 does is move the initiative forward to make sure the protections are in place. you saw what happened in the shelby decision, in the voting rights act this was virtually eliminated. we must restore that i move to address other issues including how our voices are locked doubt by the big bucks of multibillion-dollar court rations and individuals that sing the song so loud and the pictures so brightly that no one else's vote is seen, heard or counted. that is why we are delighted to take on issues like the tools that come out of the civil rights movement. being prevented from casting and unfettered vote and having it counted once they pay their debt to society, making sure that they claim society overall. it's great to see what just happened in florida.
we need that in the rest of the country as well if someone has made a mistake and has gone to jail, one thing that's proven to be effective is if they're able to come out and be able to cast and unfettered vote to have their thoughts and understandings heard and seen, they are less like to go back to jail and we are more likely to see our country advance in the direction it needs to go. with that i would like to thank congressman sarbanes to providing the kind of leadership he has. when it's time to talk about resources and knocking people out because of campaign-finance and the need for reform, no one has been louder or more consistent, the brother would even stop by my office and i don't live close to capitol hill. with that in mind we need to move this and make it happen soon, moving it to a important presidential election. i want to thank you and all the other leadership for moving
things forward and bring to the podium now my dear friend josh horwitz. [ applause ] >> i'm with their coalition to stop gun violence, we endorse the for the people act, americans deserve a government that works for them. h.r. 1 to be passed with partisan support and signed into law immediately. h.r. 1 is the perfect piece of legislation to begin this historic session of congress. the dark money that tilts the scales in favor of special interest must be addressed, no money is darker than the funds funneled from the national rifle association had orders to capitol hill. the past year, with the
rational infiltration of the nra, we have seen increased concerns about who is actually funding the gun lobby. for the people, this act shines a light on the dark money and corruption. the american people deserve a government that works for them, we strongly encourage the passing of h.r. 1 and thank congressman sarbanes for being such a champion. thank you. [ applause ] >> now, the national director of the lgbtq task force. [ applause ] >> hello everyone, thank you for sticking it out here in the cold and soon to be perhaps, a little noise in the background of all the irony. i'm the executive director of the national lgbtq task force.
thank you congressman sarbanes forgiving all of us a chance to stand up again and again for democracy. i am here to state clearly and simply that voting rights is an lgbtq issue. as a historically marginalized community, we know to have a vote is to have a voice to americans are effect did buy a full range of issues with a hand in the democratic process, immigration, reproductive justice, portable housing and discrimination just to name a few. today we stand with colleagues representing other movements to urge congress to move forward on hr1 cobbled set of reforms that will serve as a much- needed lifeline to democracy. as an example of our movement, only allow strict voter id laws to burden transgender americans
, whose gender representation may not match their id we lose their input in the democratic process and that's wrong. it's also unjust is selling disenfranchisement we believe that americans are fed up with the racist laws that keep other americans from voting. for example, and as noted last november, florida voters by a very large margin, restore the right to vote to over 1 million individuals with only convictions in their pastor had finished serving their sentences. the task force action fund was on the ground organizing and we want to see that change nationwide. the proposed hr1 democracy reforms will amplify lgbtq voices and important policy debates. we will elect candidates to
recognize the wholeness of our lives and the issues that we face. everyone can agree that democracy works best when all communities are able to participate. thank you . >> i now bring up michael keegan, president and ceo of people for the american way. [ applause ] >> thank you, and with this cold maybe we should move the timeline up faster than two years to pass this. i want to say what an honor it is to be here, representative sarbanes-oxley leader of this and i want to say that if this millage can sell in orange county can sell around the country. i also want to say what an honor it is to be with the coalition and the members in
support of this action. it's truly historic and no better time. i know it may be shocking at a time when we are shaping the outcome of elections and elected officials achieving constituents as opposed to the other way around, to help dark money groups funded by billionaires to make better ads against them and sexual- harassment lawsuits are paid for out of taxpayers pockets people are losing faith in their government. on behalf of the 1.5 million numbers of the people for american way that speak out in back favor of this legislation. this doesn't just represent the will of the people, it's designed to make sure that the voices of the people are actually what get to listen to in washington. this is very bad news for you if you're a billionaire or huge court ration but great news if you're an ordinary person or voter. americans want a government that's more equitable, more transparent and more
precipitate toward because that's the kind of government that response to the needs of voters and not just donors and special interests, that won't happen without fixing the problems that hr1 was created to address. attacks on the right to vote at the thought of big money in our elections and a broke ethics system. the time is now to get this done. the package is now more important than ever. the clock is ticking. with a culture of corruption on full display, it's crystal clear that reform is needed and needed now. there's only one place in america where that is a controversial idea and that's in congress. we are here today to make sure that now is the time for bold action. so, on behalf of people for the american way and are 1.5 million members and activists, i look over to continuing the fight for the reforms that will truly make this a government of, by and for the people.
thank you. [ applause ] >> good afternoon. my name is bishop garrison. i'm a west point graduate, a former u.s. army officer and veteran of operation iraqi freedom, a former dhs, dod and veterans affairs appointee and currently the interim director of the truman national security project. as a national security organization, truman supports the for the people act because we know good inclusive governance is the first step towards making our nation safer while assuring that we remain an effective leader on the world stage. we support these urgent common sense reforms to reduce disenfranchisement, increase transparency and fight corruption. our broken
democracy has made us a target for our adversaries abroad, including russian attacks and information warfare against the 2016 through 2018 election process. thankfully, the provisions of the for the people act address critical vulnerabilities. it's important to national security that we keep the money out of politics and demand funding and oversight for election security and make sure that digital platforms are disclosing who is buying political ads. i urge all members of congress, not just democrats to support the for the people act, transparency, accountability, and defense of our institutions to not be partisan issues. it's time for our elected officials to put country over party and ensure that we have a government that lives up to our values
this work begins with the for the people act. thank you [ applause ] >> hello everyone, were minutes away from being able to feel our feet again. i'm the president and ceo of the leadership conference on civil and human rights. our coalition of over 200 nationals evelyn human rights organizations is honored to support h.r. 1, the for the people act that represents a transformative vision for american democracy. i want to thank congressman sarbanes and the house leadership for infusing hope and integrity into politics and institutions. trump is eroding democracy and work to undercut those of color and those excluded from our political process. this offers a opportunity to
fix what is broken and put government back in the hands of the people. among its bold reform hr1 requires voter registration and restores voter rights of people with criminal convictions. these polities add millions of voters to the role. h.r. 1 includes a pledge to restore voting rights and as formal leader, the cutting of the vra was one of the most devastating blows to democracy in recent times. we need to restore this and block states with a history of racial discrimination. voting and the ability to participate in democracy is a civil rights issue, racial justice issue and an issue of core democracy and we are overdue for change. the for the people act will usher in an era of clean government and the leadership conference will work tirelessly
to say outing cold and hot to continue to work with our members and ensure a future where all voices are heard. thank you. [ applause ] >> now, i will introduce the last speaker . >> good morning everyone. i think i am the last thing between you and a warmer environment. let me be really quick. i first want to thank the democratic leadership and congressman sarbanes for making this possible. the sierra club is an environmental organization and we care passionately about clean air and water to finding solutions to climate change. you might say, why would the sierra club think that we the people act, h.r. 1 is the single most important thing that we may do for the environment? let me give you a couple quick reasons for that. one is we care about clean air and clean water and finding
solutions to climate change and so do the vast majority of the american public. the biggest thing standing between the american public and those solutions has been the influence of corporate money and elect torres system that is broken. we need policies that protect people, the land, workers, and until we protect and in fact restore our democratic process and that voters have access to the polls that do not let corporate money unduly influence elections, we will not get those things so for that reason the sierra club is in full support and we join our allies in the cosponsors of the bill and we won't stand or we won't sit until we see this legislation and act. thank you very much.
[ applause ] >> one more speaker, actually. which is me. yesterday 1.4 million floridians , with former felony convictions, gained the right to vote, the biggest addition to the voter world since the voter rights act, this happened because florida voters stood up and passed a major democracy reform. it wasn't just for florida, voters have done the same thing in north dakota, michigan, missouri, seattle, denver, baltimore and counties across the state of maryland. the district of columbia through the city council passed major fair elections reform last year. there is a democratic resurgence going on across the country and it's now coming to washington d.c. and we will see the passage of hr1 before the people act.
i can't think representative sarbanes enough, not just his leadership that made this possible. this is a reaction to the most corrupt administration in american history, it's a united decision of 10 years ago reaction. unleashing even more money into our policies, reaction to the shelby county decision, but one of the most shameful displays in the voting rights act in all jurisprudence of the u.s. supreme court. but it's also a reaction to the growing movement demanding democracy reform. the american people do know that it's the failure of our democracy that stands in the way of the agenda that they want. it's not necessarily an aggressive agenda but the american agenda to provide healthcare for all to raise the minimum wage and the price gouging of pharmaceutical
companies and to take on the x essential front of climate change, this has a supportive 90% of americans and the reason we don't get progress and is broken through the undermining of democracy. the american people know that the only thing they support more is democracy itself. we are going to see the majority when and it's going to win by passing hr1. we are going to pass h.r. 1 in this congress or the next but we won't wait very long because the american people are demanding it. the declaration of american democracy is going to lead the charge of the reforms here.
this is a signal moment in american history we so much appreciate representative sarbanes leadership and that he stands with us in the cold. we stand altogether until we win these fundamental reforms. >> we will break right now and if anybody wants to talk to any of us individually or to representative sarbanes we are available. thank you everyone for turning out. [ applause ] c-span more history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by americans cable television companies and today we continue to bring unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public